Your Body

Caroline's Corner

Dance Spirit has teamed up with health and nutrition expert Caroline Lewis-Jones to bring you advice about how to keep your bod in tip-top shape. Caroline is a seasoned performer (she’s danced with *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mia Michaels, Dee Caspary and many more!), a certified holistic health coach and a personal trainer—plus she’s currently teaching for Adrenaline conventions. This month, Caroline explains how you can eat healthy during jam-packed convention weekends. —Michael Anne Bailey

Caroline says: “Every weekend at conventions, I see dancers eating fast food, pizza and entire boxes of cereal. Come on dancers: Do yourself a favor and bring a cooler! You need to fuel your body and mind with nutrient-dense, whole foods for optimum energy. Here are some of the foods I love to pack before heading to convention.”

  • Baked sweet potatoes (Cook them Thursday night, and then pack them for the weekend.)

  • Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt with almonds, flax seeds and berries

  • A sandwich-sized bag filled with whole-grain cereal (I love Kashi GOLEAN Crunch.)

  • Whole-wheat pasta tossed with some of your favorite veggies and marinara sauce (It tastes good cold!)

  • Whole-grain bread with almond or peanut butter and sliced bananas or apples on top (Sprinkle on some cinnamon for extra sweetness.)

  • A whole-wheat tortilla wrap filled with hummus, veggies and black beans

  • Raw almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios mixed with dried fruit

  • Single-serve hummus and pretzel packs (I love Sabra) and a bag of raw veggies for dipping

  • A container filled with your favorite fruits

 

Choose to Snooze

According to a recent study at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, not getting enough sleep during your adolescent years does more than make you groggy. Researchers found that consistent sleep deprivation during your teen years may have long-lasting negative effects on the wiring of your brain. Yikes! According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens (ages 10–17) should be sleeping 8.5 to 9.25 hours each night. The next time you have an early morning rehearsal, get to bed early the night before and give your body the rest it needs. Your brain will thank you. —Michael Anne Bailey

Tanning Beds

It’s January, you have a performance coming up and you’re feeling pale and pasty.

The solution? Sunless tanning lotion—not the tanning salon. We’ve said it once (OK, maybe 10 times) and we’ll say it again: tanning beds = danger. A new study published in

the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that tanning beds might be causing even more harm than researchers originally thought. UVA1 rays (the kind most commonly used in tanning beds) penetrate a deeper layer of skin, making it more susceptible to the changes that cause skin cancer. Don’t chance it. —MAB

Having a hard time remembering corrections from all of your various dance classes? Keep a dance journal. After each class, jot down any critiques your teacher gave you and review them before you take the class again.

Sign up for Caroline's free monthly wellness newsletter, here!

Dancer to Dancer

Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.

But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.

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Win It
Courtesy CAA

You read that right, people—Dance Spirit's giving away two tickets to the "SYTYCD" tour in the city of your choice, complete with an exclusive meet & greet with select cast members! Read on for the complete prize listing and official rules.

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Tiler Peck and Chase Finlay in Swan Lake (photo by Paul Kolnik)

For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.

Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.

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Low on dancewear inspiration? Return to the classics in bold black and elegant white.

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Lani Dickinson's power, grace, and raw presence make her a standout with AXIS Dance Company, whose mission is to change the face of dance and disability by featuring a mix of disabled and non-disabled performers. Born in China, Dickinson was adopted by an American couple and started dancing at 8 in Towson, MD. She attended the Boston Ballet School for two summers, studied at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for the last two years of high school, and graduated with a dance degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet's BFA program with Dominican University of California. In 2015, she joined AXIS and won a Princess Grace Award. Catch her this month during AXIS Dance Company's 30th-anniversary season—and read on for The Dirt!

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Dance News

Week five of "Dancing with the Stars" proved to be one of the best weeks of the season so far. (And we're not just saying that because Mickey made a cameo debut on the piano during one of the routines—although that certainly didn't hurt!) Everyone brought their A-game, and with such a fun theme the contestants were able to really let their guards down. There was true sincerity in their dancing that we hadn't seen before. But not all Disney stories end with a "happily ever after," and one couple still had to hang up their dancing shoes.

If there's one week you should watch all the routines of it's undoubtedly this one... But, ICYMI, scroll below for our highlights of the night.

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Dance News
Via Facebook

Almost a month out, Puerto Rico continues to suffer the devastating aftereffects of Hurricane Maria. Many of the island's residents still lack power, clean water, and safe housing. Ballet classes? For Puerto Rican dance students, they must feel like an impossible luxury.

But a dance studio in Florida is working to allow a group of young Puerto Ricans to continue their training. And it needs your help.

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Dancer to Dancer
Gianluca Russo (via Instagram)

Yes, I am a dancer, and yes, I am fat.

There's nothing quite as soul-crushing as the reactions I've received when I've told people I dance. They can range from disbelief to confusion to shock. To many people, it's somehow incomprehensible that a plus-size person like myself could grace a stage. While the body-positive movement has been trucking along at full force over the past few years, it hasn't made much progress in the dance community yet. In fact, the words "body positivity" and "dance" are almost never used together in the same sentence.

Despite that fact, dance is what helped me learn to love my larger frame. In honor of National Body Confidence Day, I wanted to talk about my first time in a studio, and about the tremendous progress I've made since.

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